In statements to the press this week, President Bush and White House press secretary Dana Perino claimed that members of Congress had been “fully briefed” on a classified CIA program that sanctioned the use of harsh interrogation techniques. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John Rockefeller disputed this claim on Friday. This morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she too was not briefed on the secret memos.
At a town hall meeting with the Democratic Club of Westside Progressives in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) was asked about her knowledge of the secret “torture memos” revealed this week by the New York Times. Like Rockefeller and Pelosi, Harman said she was not “fully briefed”:
We were not fully briefed. We were told about operational details but not these memos. Jay Rockefeller said the same thing, and I associate myself with his remarks. And we want to see these memos.
At the time of the secret approval to the CIA in 2005, Rep. Harman was the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the “Gang of Eight” routinely briefed on intelligence matters.
At the same town hall meeting, Harman revealed that an unidentified Republican member of Congress told her that if President Bush were to attack Iran, then even he would vote for impeachment.